Expecting a child is an exciting time in a couple’s life. It is fun to plan and get everything ready in anticipation of the little one’s arrival.
Of course, if you are on a tight budget, that can make planning more difficult or even sometimes stressful. While you will register and hopefully receive some of what you need from friends and family, there will be many items you need to buy.
I recall when I was expecting my first. I registered for all sorts of things which were on the list I was provided by the store. Many I received and some of them, I honestly never really used. I felt horrible that people spent money on things that we didn’t really need.
After having had three kids, I know the items I consider non-essential, but still see a lot of new moms asking for them. That is not to say that you can’t purchase them. However, if your budget is tight, these might be some things you can ask for on your registry, but, if you don’t get them, you don’t rush out and spend your own money to buy them, especially if doing so will land you in debt.
1. Wipes Warmer
Not only is this really not needed, many warmers tend to dry out the wipes, which can result in waste. Who wants to spend money on wipes just to have them dry up and get thrown out? (I sure didn’t.) If you want to, you can use your own hands to warm the wipe for a minute.
2. Changing Table
This is convenient, but you really don’t “need” one. If you want a designated area to change your baby, you can purchase an inexpensive changing pad and secure it to a low dresser instead. That way, you are not stuck with an expensive piece of furniture that you will never use again.
3. Diaper Disposal System
These may seem convenient, but they are not a must. Not only do they not always keep the smell out of the room, but you also have to pay for expensive refills. Instead, have a trash can in the room you will most frequently have diaper changes. Take the trash out at the end of each day (and you can flush the solid waste by shaking the diaper into the toilet as your baby gets older).
4. Specialty Detergent
This is one I fell for myself. I was told I had to get the special detergent for my baby’s clothes. Instead, opt for a free and clear brand of detergent. It will be free of dyes and perfumes, which are the products that can irritate sensitive skin. Best of all, you will save time, as you can wash baby’s clothes in with everyone else’s and not have to do extra loads of laundry.
These are so pretty to look at, but there is not any guarantee you will use it. Even if you do, it is for a relatively short period of time. Instead, consider getting a pack ‘n play with the removable bassinet on the top to use instead.
We actually had a couple of pack ‘n plays (received both as gifts). One was smaller and was kept upstairs and then we had another in our family room. Both had the bassinet and were used for naps when our kids were very small. As they got older, we then had the playpen to use to set them in when needed.
6. Baby Food Processor
There is no need for a special appliance to create your own baby food. You can use your own food processor, blender or magic bullet to make the food. It works exactly the same and saves you the cost (and space) of having an additional item in the kitchen.
7. Baby Shoes
Adorable? Yes. Necessary? No. Babies do not need shoes until they get closer to learning to walk. So save your money and purchase them when they are bit older.
8. Bottle Cleaning System & Sterilizer
Your dishwasher works perfectly fine when it comes to cleaning bottles and nipples. Many even have a sterilizing option built in (which is just a very high heat setting that can kill germs). Skip the fancy system and use your dishwasher to clean bottles and they will be perfectly fine for baby to use.
9. Baby Towels
The everyday towels you use on yourself are perfectly fine for drying your little one. Just wrap them up tightly in it and cover that little wet head if you are concerned about your little one catching cold.
Your baby needs just a few things when they are first born and the most important thing is your love and attention. The other things — they are just things.
Anything else you would like to add to our list?
[Editor’s Note: Don’t let yourself overspend on your new little bundle of joy. You can use this free tool to track your financial goals, like building good credit, each month on Credit.com.]